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27th May; Setting sail

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27th May; Setting sail

Post  Jacob Chase on Sat Sep 11, 2010 4:34 am

It seemed to Chase that the dust had mostly settled after De Guarde's recent charade as a Marine, which was just as well. The officers, of course, would not much care for the sight of the lad, but the crew thought no end of commendable that the boys had carried off such a prank with that level of success. Chase himself considered it a point of pride to have helped Andrew Shepherd play his role as a Tar.

Now, finally, with official orders having been read out, Terpsy was weighing anchor. Back to sea at last. Rotting away in harbour was no way to spend one's days. Chase leaned over the yard and waited for order to set t'g'llants. There was a fine breeze and the sun shone unconcealed. As prime a day as any seaman could ask for.

" 'Bout time, ain't it?" Tommy Edwin asked, all cheerfulness at the prospect of leaving land behind them.

Chase nodded. "Aye. Long overdue, sure!"

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An' let ev'ry man drink off a full glass
An' we'll drink and be jolly an' drown melancholy
Singing, 'ere's a good health to each true-'earted lass

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Jacob Chase
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Re: 27th May; Setting sail

Post  Mathew De Guarde on Sat Sep 11, 2010 5:09 am

The view from a spot as high as they stood at present awaiting the order, was grand and humbling. The sea sparkled in its usual way, reflecting light and promising it to be a fairly good day. There was some cloud on the sky and the wind was picking up causing ripples on the surface. A number of spectators awaited the ship's departure, some with curious looks, some with forlorn and others relieved.

The children jabbered away, seeking out some better spots to see the ship sail. It was a scene of mixed emotions, and from the very tops, one could see only little of it in detail.

He had no problem with heights. He hauled himself higher and gave another brief glance at the ship below. With a determined nod he quickened his pace. Quickly now. With a grip on the ropes he hauled himself into place and then glanced sideways.

"Chase." He rasped and cleared his throat. It was evident enough what he came up to do and was asking where he was meant to go.

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Re: 27th May; Setting sail

Post  George Thompson on Sat Sep 11, 2010 6:03 am

Thompson slotted the heavy capstan bar into place, glancing around to see various other Marines, idlers, landsmen and waisters pushing - or being pushed - into place. A petty officer ran a long length of spun-yarn - the swifter - round the ends of the bars, fastening them all together, much like the felloes and tyre of a carriage-wheel.

One of the young drummers hopped up onto the capstan itself, clutching a fife.

Thompson winked at him before steeling himself for the long hard job of raising the anchor. He hoped the Douro didn't have the sort of thick, glutinous mud of the River Medway and the Nore anchorage. He hated hoisting anchor there with a passion.

"Heave away," the bosun called and they started walking around, with the ship's boys walking beside the messenger to retrieve their nippers, which seized the thinner messenger to the much thicker anchor cable, as the wet anchor cable was led below to the cable tiers to be stowed.

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Re: 27th May; Setting sail

Post  Jacob Chase on Sat Sep 11, 2010 6:22 am

Edwin's attention had since been distracted by the observation from Sam Millet about women in a boat down below them. Chase peered down toward the indicated boat in hopes of catching sight of something worthwhile, until he heard a quiet voice off to his right.

"Aye?" He asked, straightening up as much as one can when half-draped over a yard. It was De Guarde himself, looking almost uncertain.

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Now let ev'ry man toss off a full bumper
An' let ev'ry man drink off a full glass
An' we'll drink and be jolly an' drown melancholy
Singing, 'ere's a good health to each true-'earted lass

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Re: 27th May; Setting sail

Post  Keiju on Sat Sep 11, 2010 6:28 am



Thomas Shepherd grinned back at Thompson, clutching his fife as he got comfortable on top of the capstan. This was one of his favourite duties. Then, judging he was as settled as he could get, he lifted the fife to his lips.

~

Andrew Shepherd hated weighing anchor. If he was any good at the fife, he would be the one up there on the capstan, instead of hanging onto a nipper like a common ship's boy. A damned disgrace, that's what it was.

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Re: 27th May; Setting sail

Post  Mathew De Guarde on Sat Sep 11, 2010 6:32 am

"I's.. come ter..." He glanced at the ropes as if they could offer some suggestion as how to put it. "..learn t' ropes." Perhaps they just did. ".. more proper." He added.

He remembered how he had wanted to have Chase facing all sorts of bad, when he was still on light duties, and De Guarde was a midshipman. He would have sent him to do it too, if not for the intervention of officers.

Here he was, though, with a different thought in mind. Chase was his sea-daddy. This was him, Mathew de Guarde, very willingly and openly showing it, confirming it, accepting it and asking if he could learn from him. He did not mind the heights and stood very sure of himself in that aspect if not in the rest. Below he saw the men stirring in motion, amongst them the redcoated marines.

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Re: 27th May; Setting sail

Post  Jacob Chase on Sat Sep 11, 2010 6:38 am

Oh aye? Chase lifted an eyebrow in slight surprise, then grinned. About time.

"Well," he said. "First off, every bit of rope's got a name. S'posin' you got some idea of that a'ready?"

_________________
Now let ev'ry man toss off a full bumper
An' let ev'ry man drink off a full glass
An' we'll drink and be jolly an' drown melancholy
Singing, 'ere's a good health to each true-'earted lass

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Re: 27th May; Setting sail

Post  Mathew De Guarde on Sat Sep 11, 2010 6:45 am

"Some." The boy nodded, and shifted his hold. "...won't hurt if I hear it again." He smiled.

Though he wished his emotions hidden, relief was clear on his face as he spoke again. "Know t'.. only rope that's called a rope. .is t' bell rope." He looked up, wanting to see he wasn't wrong in that.

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Re: 27th May; Setting sail

Post  Tom Oxley on Sat Sep 11, 2010 7:03 am

Oxley was fairly sure he was getting too old to be holding onto a nipper much longer when raising anchor. He sent a glance at the men round the capstan. On the whole, he thought running alongside the anchor cable was preferable to pushing the capstan around.

He looked just like any other ship's boy or sailor now; he'd decided not to risk skidding over in his shoes and was barefoot. The only thing marking him out from the other lads was that he was wearing braces.

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Re: 27th May; Setting sail

Post  Jacob Chase on Sat Sep 11, 2010 7:19 am

"That's so. The bit under our feet's the horse. Them holdin' the sail to the yard - for now - are the harbour gaskets. Sheets are the lines on the outer corners of the sail... hoi, they're heavin' now, down below."

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Now let ev'ry man toss off a full bumper
An' let ev'ry man drink off a full glass
An' we'll drink and be jolly an' drown melancholy
Singing, 'ere's a good health to each true-'earted lass

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Re: 27th May; Setting sail

Post  James Gunn on Sat Sep 11, 2010 7:35 am

Albeit having some trouble in understanding what they had wanted of him, till he saw the capstan and the bars, slid into their slots, he was much quicker to settle there.

It was not a job needing much thought, which suited Gunn just fine. Save him the trouble of trying to understand what was said or remember what it had meant. Just neat brute strength. He grinned and began to push at the given the command.
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Re: 27th May; Setting sail

Post  Tom Branning on Sat Sep 11, 2010 7:40 am

Heave around. Stamp and go. Branning wanted to laugh, for joy of the occasion. Getting sailing orders meant a renewed chance for hunting down Frogs. And, of course, prize money. The big Marine laid his palms flat against the capstan bar and set his strength against it. With luck, they could be out at sea within an hour.

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Re: 27th May; Setting sail

Post  Mathew De Guarde on Sat Sep 11, 2010 7:45 am

The lad watched, observed the ropes which Chase was pointing out to him and nodded each time, to confirm it. Horse, harbour gaskets, sheets. He followed Chase's gaze quickly. So they were. The marines and landlubbers, idlers too, were in motion now. Just a moment before they were still preparing themselves for it.

"What should I do?" He asked in earnest, listening to the shouts below.

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Re: 27th May; Setting sail

Post  Jacob Chase on Sat Sep 11, 2010 7:50 am

"Get ready to work them knots loose," Chase directed, adjusting his footing on the horse. They would make a nice, smart movement forward once the anchor was hove short. He knew enough of Captain Bolitho to be assured of that.

_________________
Now let ev'ry man toss off a full bumper
An' let ev'ry man drink off a full glass
An' we'll drink and be jolly an' drown melancholy
Singing, 'ere's a good health to each true-'earted lass

Character by Keiju.
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Jacob Chase
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Re: 27th May; Setting sail

Post  Mathew De Guarde on Sat Sep 11, 2010 8:04 am

De Guarde gave a quick, sharp nod. He pursed his lips without knowing so and shuffled a bit till he found himself a better position on the horse. The knots were closer at hand though he was relying more heavily on his arms now. His shorter legs didn't serve him well, but he would make do with it.

He had a look of determination to do good, which had not been there for the past while. No room for complaints about hard work. Make it look as smart for the spectators as they only could.

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Re: 27th May; Setting sail

Post  George Thompson on Sun Sep 12, 2010 2:34 am

"Don't you go breakin' that bar," Thompson said to Branning. The thought crossed his mind that Branning could probably weigh anchor by himself. Stupid thought - the best bower anchor was several hundredweight - but it still made him grin.

Off to sea again, and who knew where they'd end up heading? It was nice being able to have a run ashore, but nothing beat the lively lift of the deck under your feet and the motion of a ship in a good breeze.

They just had this damn anchor to weigh first.

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Re: 27th May; Setting sail

Post  Nathan Allen on Sun Sep 12, 2010 3:13 pm

"Wouldn't put it past him," Allen said, "But then we'd be in a right sorry state if'n he broke th' bar. Be even harder t' get th' anchor up."

He grumbled as he heaved on his own capstan bar. Branning was most likely enjoying the task of weighing anchor, though Allen could not say the same for himself. At least they would be getting out to sea at last, and that was definitely something to be glad about.

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Re: 27th May; Setting sail

Post  James Gunn on Sun Sep 12, 2010 6:28 pm

Jem Gunn spared the two marines a short glance before looking ahead. One foot after the other. Couldn't get any simpler, and that's why the idlers and the landlubbers and marines could do it. No need to know much about ship. But what was perfect, no strange word commands.

He relaxed and gazed ahead pushing the bar along with that. It reminded him a bit of where he has seen a similar thing - but not weighing anchor - done by a mule or a pair of them. The anchor was following it's chain and would soon break water, where its whole weight would be resting on the chain rather than distributed somewhat better in the sea.
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Re: 27th May; Setting sail

Post  Mathew De Guarde on Tue Sep 21, 2010 5:19 am

"Look. Even the ladies came." De Guarde pointed at the harbour, where the was a collection of figures dressed in skirts. Their clothes appeared to be local, as they were probably too. He looked at Chase and smiled. "When can we start bringing the knots apart. Now?"

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Re: 27th May; Setting sail

Post  Paul Perry on Tue Sep 21, 2010 6:06 am

Beside them on the footropes, Perry was moping over the yard as he stared gloomily at the harbor beyond. He became more alert when the colorful "ladies" appeared, some of them waving. He spotted the prettiest one and sighed. "That's my wife."

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Re: 27th May; Setting sail

Post  Mathew De Guarde on Tue Sep 21, 2010 6:17 am

De Guarde noticed Perry. He was the man who was part of the great spectacle in which he was to be saved by his wife. The wife did not succeed, and he remained aboard. While he did not attempt to jump over board and swim ashore, he still very openly showed he was not happy about being aboard.

"Hey, Perry." He called. "You'll return. Sometime."

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Re: 27th May; Setting sail

Post  Paul Perry on Tue Sep 21, 2010 6:23 am

"Stow it," Perry replied, but without feeling. His wife was now waving, though she could probably not see him. He stood up on the footropes and waved his arm.

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Re: 27th May; Setting sail

Post  Jacob Chase on Tue Sep 21, 2010 6:29 am

Chase's gaze passed longingly over the gathering of women ashore. There was no telling when they'd be near a port again.

"Shame," he muttered, shaking his head slightly. "Could've almost got to likin' this place."

_________________
Now let ev'ry man toss off a full bumper
An' let ev'ry man drink off a full glass
An' we'll drink and be jolly an' drown melancholy
Singing, 'ere's a good health to each true-'earted lass

Character by Keiju.
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Jacob Chase
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Re: 27th May; Setting sail

Post  Mathew De Guarde on Tue Sep 21, 2010 6:33 am

"But.. we're going ahead, to adventure an'.. to do our duty. Perhaps our next mission might take us to land again. Patrolling the coast even." He had a hard time to ignore Perry's remark and chose to concentrate on Chase's own. "It was about time we left." Before the general population decided to stone the lot.

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Re: 27th May; Setting sail

Post  Tom Oxley on Tue Sep 21, 2010 8:42 am

Oxley just wanted them to be sailing already to wherever it was that they were heading for. The actual work of raising anchor to set sail was just dull. Though maybe not so dull as pushing the capstan around. He sent a quick, slightly envious, grin at Young Tom, sitting comfortably on the capstan, fifing away. Ah well. Once this was over and done, they could escape below and he and Sticks would be able to rag the older Shepherd over it.

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Re: 27th May; Setting sail

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